Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mankato Brewery Center Street Series #1 Amber Ale and Organ Grinder Amber Ale

The Mankato Brewery is in North Mankato, Minnesota. It is the first production brewery to be in that city since 1967. Their Center Street beers are limited releases. However, it is my understanding that this release was so popular that it will become a regular release called Organ Grinder Amber Ale. I really enjoy their Original and Stickum, so I was excited to hear about the two Center Street releases. However, then I was bummed because I didn't think I would be able to get to Minnesota to try them before they disappeared. Luckily, a friend went to Mankato and brought me back one of their holiday sampler packs. So, let's try this sucker.

The 6.0% ABV beer pours a sparkling deep amber in color, throwing off some brown and ruby red highlights. There is an inch of thick, foamy, and fizzling head. The aroma is very nutty toasted malt, soda crackers, and some fruity and earthy yeast. The taste is malty, tons of nutty malt, toasted, roasted, with enough hops to kill any sweetness and to end nice and dry. There is a lingering fruitiness along with the nutty aftertaste. It has a nice tingling carbonation. Well, another winner from Mankato, their beers are full of flavor, but eminently sessionable.

I may be mistaken, but I believe Mankato Brewery's Organ Grinder Amber Ale, now a regular of the lineup, is essentially just the Center Street #1 made a regular and renamed?  Let's see how it matches up. It is 5.8% ABV, and pours amber and copper in color. There is about an inch of thick and tightly foamy head, off-white to very light brown. The aroma is malt forward, roasted, toasted, a bit of sweet potato, some caramel, and a hint of nut. The taste follows the aroma, but adds in even more nuttiness. There is a caramel sweet aspect to the maltiness, but enough hops to finish dry. There is a lingering roasted, nutty and caramel aftertaste. Crisply carbonated, but not overdone, it is easy to drink. Flavorful and solid, expect nothing less from Mankato.

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